Weekly Update » January 01 - January 07, 2011
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Happy 2011: When Does the Year Actually Begin?
112th Congress Convenes on Solar Eclipse
Say What? Vatican Supports Genetically Modified Food?
Venus in Sagittarius, Sun Squares Saturn

By Shelley L. Ackerman © 2011



SHELLEY ACKERMAN
Photo: Rich Press

Thoughts on the New Year:
Reservations, Resolutions, and a Capricorn Solar Eclipse

What constitutes a beginning and when does the New Year actually start? All of the world’s calendars are man made, and as David Ewing Duncan put forth in his timeless book, Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year (1998), “Our experiences are shaped by our concept of time… our concern with time started when a Cro-Magnon man decided to mark off the days of the lunar cycle on an eagle bone”, we are more or less coerced into buying into ‘collective beginnings’ which may not be natural, ‘real’, or in sync with what our individual experience is at the moment.

Arguments can be made for the year beginning on the Winter Solstice (usually Dec 20/21 in the northern hemisphere), The New Moon in Capricorn, the Aquarius New Moon (which always marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year), at the Spring Equinox, which with the Sun’s entrance into Aries, begins the astrological New Year, or at the Autumn Equinox, at which time the Jewish New Year commences. The most personal New Year is on one’s birthday, at a progressed new moon cycle, or even when a progressed planet moves into a new sign. But not everyone is that into astrology, so consensus-wise, January 1, 2011, starts A Year Anew. In the afore-linked well-written and thoughtful NY Times editorial, my favorite line is: “The New Year reminds that we live (as we always have), somewhere between Utopia and Dystopia…” and though Dystopia seems to have the upper hand at the moment, there is still the likes of Jon Stewart (who is credited with shaming the GOP into voting for the bill-signed into law on Jan 2- which provides health care funding for 9/11 first responders), Stephen Colbert, Amy Goodman, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, and numerous others who continue to use their energy and influence to keep us informed and empowered. Here, from Moore’s website, is a video posting, “Higher Taxes on Top 1% Equals Higher Productivity”, please check it out.

Moore also helped post bail for Julian Assange of Wikileaks, who, like him or not, is providing valuable service to the world. It was through Wikileaks that we now know that US diplomats pushed the Vatican to support biotech food (genetically modified food) in developing nations. Under the guise of ending world hunger, profit-driven genetically altered food is big business. But it promises to compromise the health and well-being of anyone who eats it. Prana-less food = beings with no life force.

My good friend and make-up guru to the superstars, Katrina Borgstrom reminded me to check out Food, Inc., the documentary that tells the truth about GMO’s. You may also want to look into The Botany of Desire, described as an exploration of the human relationship with the plant world -- seen from the plants' point of view.

The recent and misguided passage of the Food Safety and Modernization Act has given the FDA authority to sterilize all food coming into the US (remove its nutrients through irradiation and pasteurization), and to shut down local organic farmers who earn more than $500K annually, suspend greenhouse operations, and regulate the hell out of those who sell that delicious and healthy organic produce at the farmer’s markets. Read about this travesty here. But individual states may enact their own legislation to insure food freedom. Vermont has led the way with The Resolution for Food Sovereignty Act crafted to declare and protect the health and food freedom rights of all Vermont citizens.

And while Assange didn’t make Time Magazine’s prestigious Man of the Year cover (FaceBook’s Mark Zuckerberg did), our good friends at The Mountain Astrologer were successful at obtaining Assange’s birth time from an unnamed source who leaked it. Poetic justice? Of course! The astrological community was delighted with this “get” and his chart did not disappoint! The Cancerian Assange was born on July 3, 1971 at 2:08 pm in Townsville, Queensland in Australia. No surprise that he has Scorpio rising with his Scorpio Moon in the 12th house of secrets. His chart will continue to be seriously stressed by Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto for the next several years. Of interest is the Democracy Now interview with Robert Meeropol, son of the notorious Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were convicted of spying and electrocuted in 1953. Now, on the 2nd Saturn-return of their electrocution, Meeropol says “My parents were electrocuted under the unconstitutional Espionage Act (of 1917). Here’s why we must fight to protect Julian Assange.” This piece was an eye-opener for me.

Not So Lame Duck 111th Congress’ Upbeat Grand Finale: Repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”!
Congress Stepped Up on Solstice Lunar Eclipse


Photo by Robt. Montagnese

About a week after President Obama’s Henny Youngman – like “Take my Presidency, please” move at the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in which he had Bill Clinton stand in for him (in the White House Press Room) to sell the proposed seriously flawed tax bill to the American public, it was clear that there was indeed a method to his madness. As we now realize, the bill (which kept the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest in place for two more years and extended unemployment benefits for only one more year), was the exchange chip needed for the historic repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. The signing of that repeal was a joyful moment for all Americans and the chart for the signing, (Dec 22, 2010 @ 9:35 am EST in DC) had Aquarius rising and Jupiter/Uranus trining the midheaven.


This week, as the GOP-majority House saunters into Washington for the 112th Congress, there’s a partial solar eclipse to the USA Sun. Actually it’s opposite the Sun but it triggers the USA natal Sun-Saturn square and the issues that were born in 1776 (“All men are created equal but slavery is good for the economy”) which will be up for yet another attempt at a resolution. But how? How much worse must it get before voters wake up and stop voting against their (our) own best interests? I for one, will sorely miss Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, whose voice and antics are desperately needed (Grayson lost his re-election bid). I’m hoping for a regular spot for Grayson on MSNBC. But at least California has Jerry Brown back as governor. Hooray!

I think that 2011 will hold many dramatic surprises politically, as so many governors, senators, and congressmen are being sworn in on the eclipse. Change is in the air and though the GOP’s first goal is to repeal Obama’s Health Care reform victory, I’m holding the thought that some of the changes ahead may actually be unexpectedly positive.

I love the quote with which Lynda Hill began her post on this eclipse: “Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble” said Benjamin Franklin. The Sabian Symbol for 14 Capricorn, the degree of this eclipse is: An Ancient Bas-Relief Carved in Granite Remains a Witness to a Long Forgotten Culture: Lynda added: Remains of the Past vs Sculpting the Future.

Let us not forget that this is the first Saturn-Return of the Reagan Revolution. Will Reaganomics be exposed for what it really is and has done to this country?

Blizzard of Lies:
Slippery Slush Sloppily Slows Shopping and Schlepping:

December’s Mercury retrograde ended with a wallop as the 6th largest blizzard in recorded history dumped between 20 and 30 inches of the white stuff on the Big Apple, and yes, I got stuck in it!


The 50 mph+ winds were overpowering, but I was lucky enough to be accompanied by and return to my friend Katrina’s apartment and her air mattress, which worked out just fine. The headlines the next day were condemning: Snow and Misanthropic Sanitation Workers Crippled Big Apple and many slammed Mayor Bloomberg, the Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, and the unions for screwing up. It’s taken the better part of a week to sift through the mess to understand what really happened. A good friend who works for the city explained that a Stage Four Weather Emergency should have been called but was not. And while there may have been a ‘slow down’ on the part of a few arrogant union members, if the emergency had been called, the workers would have been out, albeit for time and a half, and the streets would have been ploughed in a timely manner.

Bottom line: according to Michael Daly of the NY Daily News, Goldsmith’s to blame. He should have declared a snow emergency. The trend towards union-busting is popular doesn’t end with Mayor Bloomberg: Newly sworn-in NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo is about to implement a one-year freeze on state gov’t workers’ pay. And while there is validity to the timing of such a move, let’s not put everything on the workers: While it’s true that a number of policemen, firemen, sanitation workers and their managers, particularly in the suburbs, have gotten a little crazy-greedy (I’m hearing about salaries of $150-$200K and more, and if you protest at a community board meeting, your garbage doesn’t get picked up and rocks may fly through your windows), there’s a more pervasive problem: Social Security withholding tax must be equalized for all earners, including those who earn above $106K! If that was made uniform, we’d never have gotten into this quagmire in the first place.

2011 Here We Come:


Lord Medicine Buddha

My resolution for 2011 is to resume my weekly posting schedule, revamp the site, and get the blog up so that updates will occur on an ongoing and sometimes daily basis. Thanks for your patience and a special thank you to all who have generously contributed to the site. Soon there will be special content just for subscribers and donors. In the meantime, please “like” the KarmicRelief page on Facebook, it’s where I frequently post relevant items throughout the week.

May abundance, joy, and robust good health be yours in 2011 and always. Stay safe and stay close.


Chart: Solar Eclipse
Click for larger view

The Planets This Week: All times are Eastern.

Dec 30: Mercury Station Direct @ 2:21 am
Dec 31: Moon V/C @ 2:57 pm,
             enters Sagittarius @ 8:21 pm
Jan 1: Moon in Sagittarius
Jan 2: Moon V/C @ 9:08 pm
Jan 3: Moon enters Capricorn @ 2:39 am,
             conjoins Pluto @ 12:41 pm
Jan 4: Solar Eclipse @ 4:03 AM,
             Venus square Neptune @ 3:29 am,
             Jupiter conj Uranus @ 7:52 am,
             Venus trine Uranus @ 8:34 am,
             Venus Trine Jupiter @ 8:39 am
Jan 5: Moon V/C @ 7:15 am, enters Aquarius @ 11:08 am
Jan 6: Moon trine Saturn @ 7:59 pm
Jan 7: Moon V/C @ 3:51 pm, enters Pisces @ 9:57 pm;
             Venus Enters Sagittarius @ 7:31 am,
             Sun Square Saturn @ 9:00 am

*Moon v/c = ‘void of course’, Best for spiritual not earthly pursuits

Bonus: 2011 Astro Crib Sheet

Major Planetary Activity for 2011.

Mercury: Begins @ 19 Sag 59, ends 2011 @ 19 Sag 10
Mercury Retrogrades: March 30- April 23, Aug 2-26, Nov 23-Dec 13, 2011
Venus: @ 24 Scorpio 03, ends 2011 @ 13 Aquarius 12
No change in direction in 2011
Mars: Begins @ 18 Capricorn 45, ends 2011 @ 19 Virgo 56
No change in direction in 2011
Jupiter: Begins @26 Pisces 37, ends 2011 @ 0 Taurus 25
(Jupiter in Aries from Jan 22-June 4)
Jupiter Retrograde: Aug 30-Dec 25
Saturn: Begins @ 16 Libra 41, ends 2011 @ 28 Libra 15
Saturn Retrograde: January 25- June 12)
Uranus: Begins @ 26 Pisces 58, ends 2011 @ 0 Aries 50
(Uranus re-enters Aries March 11)
Uranus Retrograde: July 9- Dec 10
Neptune: Begins @ 26 Aquar 45, ends 2011 @ 28 Aquar 53
Neptune enters Pisces April 4-Aug 4, 2011
(Re-enters Pisces Feb 2, 2012)
Neptune Retrograde: June 3- Nov 9
Pluto: Begins @5 Cap 21, ends 2011 @ 7 Cap 18
Pluto Retrograde: April 9 – Sep 16
2011 Eclipses: Jan 4: Solar @ 13 Cap 39, June 1: Solar @ 11 Gemini 02, June 15: Lunar @ 24 Sag 23,
July 1: Solar @ 9 Cancer 12, Nov 25: Solar @ 2 Sag 37, Dec 10: Lunar @ 18 Gemini 11

Weekly Horoscope:

ARIES: Last month’s Mercury Mars and Pluto pile-up which should have delivered a one-two punch to your career will be buoyed by some potentially enhancing after-shocks at the end of the week. And though the dynamic tension should be tapped into for a breakthrough of sorts, do refrain from using your professional clout and your will to succeed at all costs at the expense of others, as your secure footing rests on theirs. Karmic contracts and fairness to teammates should rule your every move and step not on anyone’s toes (even if the SOB deserves it). Thought for 2011: My closest allies and partner(s) do not inhibit my independence, they enhance it.

TAURUS: What you feel like doing (travel, take a stand for a cause, file a lawsuit, or post your passions and opinions on a blog) should not be acted upon before gauging if it serves and supports what’s best for your equilibrium and your health. Slow and steady wins the race is your motto for the time being. Keep an even-paced and predictable schedule: for now, it’s better than money in the bank. And speaking of banks, Venus (your ruler) enters your 8th house of shared wealth and resources. There’s no better time to make sure that all you own is working for you in every way possible. Mantra for 2011: I’m grateful for and share my resources wisely and balance generosity with divine discernment.

GEMINI: The transformation you’ve been yearning for (for eons) is at hand, but you must work for your deliverance it to make it a reality. The specific area to focus on is resolving the conflict between the playful, romantic and creative side of your nature versus the nuts and bolts reality of what it would take to keep a creative dream and/or a dream relationship up and running for years to come. Are you ready to give up the “fiction” that has kept you in a bind? If you’re willing to try a more mature version of the script, there’s a good shot of getting what you want and keeping it. The Jupiter/Uranus meet-up in your career house could deliver a big fat bonus professionally. Venus in your 7th house of partnership through early February attracts potential allies and mates. Thought for 2011: Being a Toys-R-Us Kid is not all it’s cracked up to be.

CANCER: Tuesday’s solar eclipse in your 7th house of partners augers a dramatic shift with a significant other and/or key business allies. This is to be embraced -not feared- as the energetic changing of the guard is necessary for the growth and forward motion of all concerned. The challenge is to keep a sense of calm and continuity in and around the home front. Achieve that and the sailing will be that much smoother. The Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in your 9th house bodes well for good news from abroad and on a legal matter. Venus in your 6th house of work and health for the next five weeks sweetens the pot at work. A female co-worker or helper may be more of a blessing than you expected. Thought for 2011: Career expansion is linked to keeping my home and family serene and stable.

LEO: Work-wise, all bets are off this week as 2011 begins with the solar eclipse in your 6th house of day to day activities. What you thought was a sure thing may vanish and conversely, opportunities that you never thought could happen this soon could materialize out of thin air (as could funding to get you to the next level). The trick is to roll with it and enjoy the shake-up. Saturn in your 3rd house of transportation may present some logistical issues (as in needing to be in two places at once), Though you’d like to be present, “Go to Meeting” may become your next best friend (and no, this astrologer doesn’t work for the company).Venus in your playful 5th house through early February ups the ante for fun. Thought for 2011: Balancing the BIG and the little picture.

VIRGO: This week’s solar eclipse in your love-centric 5th house could either pull the plug on a romantic illusion or deliver the dreamboat right to your doorstep. Other manifestations include news about an offspring, a speculative investment opp, and/or a creative awakening the likes of which you haven’t seen in about 19 years. What was going on for you creatively and romantically in 1992? There may be a chance to catch the wave and resume an abandoned project. Though Saturn may pull in the reigns budget-wise, there’s help from a partner or an ally. Venus in your 4th wants you to commit to making your house beautiful – you have five weeks to sweeten your digs. Thought for 2011: Just because I have the money or can get my hands on it, must I spend it?

LIBRA: Transformation on the home and family fronts are inevitable and timely, so if there’s anything keeping you from preparing for the upcoming moves, identify your dragons and slay them once and for all. Saturn in your sign demands discipline and no excuses will do. Make a schedule and stick to it. Order is the order of the day. There could be a surprise on the work front so be ready Freddy to head the call when it comes. Venus in your chatty 3rd house could present anything from a media-opp to good news re: a female neighbor or sibling. Thought for 2011: Being sloppy is so yesterday.

SCORPIO: No one wants their wings clipped or their movement curtailed, but with an eclipse in your 3rd house of transportation, some disruptions are unavoidable. Take extra care when traveling and/or driving and make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. A sibling or neighbor may be in for a huge change and you’ll be the first one notified when and if there’s news. Be a steadying influence if needed. Venus in Sagittarius through Feb 3 = potential money to be made from foreign contacts – be open to all communiqués and look for the silver (and gold) lining potential in each and every missive. Thought for 2011: Refer to the lessons learned in the past (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and don’t repeat mistakes. Know and honor physical limits.

SAGITTARIUS: Out with the old and in with the new is what all eclipses say, and one way or another, your MO for earning a living is up for an ending and a new beginning. The very good news is that as this happens, Venus will (on Friday) enter you 1st house and enhance your allure. The even better news is the meet-up of (your ruler) Jupiter and Uranus in your 4th house of home and family affairs. Luck is on your side and you may win or acquire the means to renovate all or part of your living space. Just do it- it’ll make all the difference. Thought for 2011: If I can master the balance between personal spontaneity and responsibility to my peeps in the first half of the year, part two will be a cake walk to the bank.

CAPRICORN: This week’s eclipse will surely blast through the remnants of stuck energy that have kept you from making the moves required to improve your lot in life. Eclipses though potent and shattering, need not be painful. The trick is to comply with what your soul knows is right for you and all who depend on you. Thought for 2011: Life may not be a popularity contest, but allies are better than enemies. Thought for 2011: No man is my friend, no man is my enemy, EVERY man is my teacher.

AQUARIUS: At the risk of appearing a tad preachy, the universe needs you to teach by example and far be it from you to not heed the call: So as an opportunity presents itself for you take the high road (you usually do), do so in such a way as to move all within range to do the same (as in “Monkey-see, monkey do”). And know that in 2011, the collective needs all of the teachers and way-showers available. The fun quotient rises on Friday when Venus enters your communal 11th house, kicking off five weeks of inspired social activity: Thought for 2011: To achieve a perfect balance between your inner revolutionary and your sense of propriety

PISCES: If the crowd you’ve been hanging with lately has cost you too much (money, time, resources, psychic energy, or whatever), it’s either time to replace some of them or put your foot down and insist on healthier terms of endearment. With Pisces, it often boils down to that old boundary issue, and what better time to nail that sucker once and for all than now, just before your ruling planet slides into your mystical and ephemeral home base (Pisces) on April 4th? Yes, 2011 will begin quite the journey and it will take all of you to stay grounded, present, and here with the rest of us on Earth. Late this week, Venus enters your career house providing you with the allure necessary to jump start your professional life and then some. Mantra for 2011: The Garden of Eden is in the here and now, and to make the most of it, I must have all of my wits about me.